Reclassification Patterns Among Latino English Learner Students in Bilingual, Dual Immersion, and English Immersion Classrooms


Published online first in:
American Educational Research Journal
August 21, 2014

Ilana M. Umansky, University of Oregon
Sean F. Reardon, Stanford University 


Schools are under increasing pressure to reclassify their English learner (EL) students to ‘‘fluent English proficient’’ status as quickly as possible. This article examines timing to reclassification among Latino ELs in four distinct linguistic instructional environments: English immersion, transitional bilingual, maintenance bilingual, and dual immersion. Using hazard analysis and 12 years of data from a large school district, the study investigates whether reclassification timing, patterns, or barriers differ by linguistic program. We find that Latino EL students enrolled in two-language programs are reclassified at a slower pace in elementary school but have higher overall reclassification, English proficiency, and academic threshold passage by the end of high school. We discuss the implications of these findings for accountability policies and educational opportunities in EL programs.

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